The two traditional powerhouses of Indian cricket – Chennai and Mumbai – will lock horns in Match 5 of Pepsi IPL 2013. Two-time champions, twice runners-up, and perhaps the most consistent team in the IPL - Chennai Super Kings - will be pitted against the Ricky Ponting-led Mumbai Indians.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say the Chennai Super Kings are the most settled team in the IPL; the Chennai franchise has retained the core of the team in the last five seasons and the faith in the players has reflected in the consistent results the team has delivered. The Kolkata Knight Riders got the better of them in IPL 2012 and MS Dhoni’s boys will be keen to shrug off that defeat and look for renewed success this season.
Mumbai Indians have finished among the top four teams in each of the last three seasons but are yet to lay their hands on the silverware. They will be keen to put in that extra bit to ensure they go the distance and lay their hands on that pretty trophy handed to the winners at the end of the competition.
Saturday, April 6, 2013, 8 p.m
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
The Chennai Super Kings will expect their opening pair of Murali Vijay and Michael Hussey to get them off to a flying start and set a platform for Suresh Raina who is at his most dangerous best in this format of the game. On the bowling front, CSK will expect a lot from R Ashwin, who was named Player of the Series in the recently-concluded Test series against Australia. The off-spinner will be a central figure in the CSK’s plans, given that skipper MS Dhoni tends to use him at critical junctures, including when the fielding restrictions are in force and in the death overs too.
The Mumbai Indians will look towards the two veterans; Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting combined well in the opening game before the former was run out attempting an ambitious run. The team will be hoping for many more runs from the two senior pros and hope the likes of Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard can bring in the aggression element towards the end of the innings.
The Mumbai Indians will be proud of the record they have against the Chennai Super Kings. They are the only team in the IPL to have more wins than losses against the two-time champions. Off the 11 times the two teams have met, the Mumbai Indians have ended up victors on six occasions, with the Chennai Super Kings winning the remaining five matches.
The Mumbai Indians got the better of the Chennai Super Kings in both the league fixtures, but lost the crucial eliminator which ended their journey in IPL 2012.
Suresh Raina has featured in every one of the Chennai Super Kings’ 81 matches in the five seasons of the IPL. He is the leading run-getter in the league with 2254 runs.
MS Dhoni and boys will next be seen in action at the PCA Stadium in Mohali against Kings XI Punjab on April 10. The Mumbai Indians meanwhile will play their third game of Pepsi IPL 2013 when they host the Delhi Daredevils on April 9.